Arkansas’ hospitals had an annual economic impact of $11.54 billion in 2017 and employed 45,800 people, according to a report distributed by the Arkansas Hospital Association on Tuesday (Jan. 8).
The report, “What’s at stake? Arkansas hospitals and their impact on the state’s economy,” said the state’s hospitals have a total payroll of $3.36 billion. Money spent by employees generates $5.4 billion in economic activity and creates an additional 42,700 jobs.
The report said hospitals spend about $3.4 billion each year on medical supplies, electricity, food and other goods and services, generating $5.48 billion for the state’s economy.
Arkansas hospitals spent $406 million on buildings and equipment in 2017. Hospital capital spending generates $653 million annually for the state’s economy.
The report said Arkansas hospitals provided $371 million in uncompensated care in 2016, a number derived from the AHA’s annual survey.
The report said the state’s trauma system, composed of 61 hospitals, has cut the state preventable death rate by nearly half and saved more than $180 million annually.
It said Arkansas hospitals in 2016 had 352,722 inpatient visits; 4,691,316 outpatient visits and procedures; 1,503,862 emergency room visits, and 35,864 births.
Forty of the state’s 75 counties have only one hospital, and hospitals are among the top five employers in 36 counties, the report said. Fifty-six percent are nonprofits, while 30% are privately operated and 14% are publicly operated.
The AHA is composed of 102 member hospitals. Among them are 76 general acute care community hospitals, five long-term care facilities, 11 psychiatric facilities, four rehabilitation hospitals, two Veterans Affairs hospitals, two pediatric hospitals, a cardiac care facility and a women’s hospital.
The report’s data for hospital expenditures and jobs came from 2016 and 2017 Medicare cost report data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The estimates regarding economic benefits to communities were based on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Regional Input-Output Modeling System II.